Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 01 May 2022
Easter Week III
Acts 5:27b-32,40b-41; Ps. 30:2,4,5,6,11,12a,13b; Rev. 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 (long) or John 21:1-14 (short)
After Jesus died, His disciples lost direction. Seven (perfect number!) of the twelve main disciples were back to their natural work as fishermen. They were back to their initial status and condition before they were called. The plan ‘to fish humanity’ seemed to fail. They would like to be back to their initial job, as fishermen. But unfortunately, they also failed as fishermen, though they had fished for the whole night. This is an uncommon experience, if not embarrassing, for professional fishermen. Luckily a “Stranger” asked them to “try again!”. They followed His word. The yield was abundant: 153 fishes in the net. As soon as they reached the shore, the Lord had prepared the grilled fish. What a wonderful breakfast!
This story is a “sign” in John’s version! First, the “sign” refers to the Stranger on the shore. The disciples were so busy with their own business and so disappointed with their failure that they didn’t realize the presence of Jesus. When they followed Jesus’ word, their job resulted in abundance. The risen Jesus is always present through His words, instead of physical appearance. If obeyed, His words will work: making the way, opening eyes, and directing us to keep on trying in our failure. His words invite us to see the problem from a different perspective, and try to aim for different evangelization, so as many as humans would be “caught”. Not only that, He even serves us: giving us life as well as accepting us in fellowship with Him. Of course, it is not served with grilled fish, but with His body and blood: the sign of His presence and giving life to His people.
Second, the “sign” also refers to a different reaction to Jesus’s resurrection. The first reaction of course came from His beloved disciple. This anonymous disciple always gave an ideal reaction: he’s the first who recognized the Lord. His loving relationship with Jesus made it possible. The most important thing is that his reaction lead other disciples to Jesus: “He is the Lord”. Peter also had his typical reaction: fast in reaction after recognizing the Lord (v. 7b) and fast in carrying out His order (v. 11). The other disciples would certainly participate in the service but in silence. Everybody works to gain a huge yield of fish. Working together, hand in hand among the church members will bear the fruit of effective service.
Third, the “sign” also tells about the disciples as a community (Church). As a community, the disciples are directed by the risen Lord. As long as they work alone without involving the Lord, they would catch nothing. Church preaching will fail without following His direction and words. When His word is obeyed, Church preaching will bear a lot of fruits: catch many peoples in the net of the Lord’s people. There will be different types of people, from many races, nations, and languages, with different personalities and talents. All participate in contributing to and developing the church, without necessarily breaking up the Church.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: For the faith of the youth
We pray for the called young people to live life to their fullest; hope they can learn to listen, to have deep discretion, to have the courage of faith, and to present themselves in the service.
For Indonesian Churches’ intention: To live the rosary
With Mary, we hope to be enabled to feel the simplicity and depth of the rosary and be willing to pray it for those who need our prayer.